From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
May 10, 2019

Have you seen this new monument gateway sign along University Parkway welcoming travelers into the city limits?  It was installed this week just east of DeSoto Road.  Smaller gateway signs also are going up around the city limits.  More details below in Weekly Briefs.


  • Tree Advisory Committee
    Mon., May 13 - 4 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission Workshop
    Tues., May 14 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., May 15 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
Featured Job of the Week 

Other great opportunities!  

This Week's Items to Know:

Single-Stream Recycling - Participation Up    We've marked one month since converting to residential single-stream recycling, and we're excited to report that participation has increased significantly.
In some neighborhoods, we're seeing an estimated 90 percent participation rate.  Bravo!  
Just in the first month, crews in our Solid Waste Division have
Recycling is up significantly with the new
single-stream system. 
collected over 454 tons of recycling from the new large carts.  That compares to approximately 264 tons from the same time period last year with the old two-bin system.  That's a 58 percent increase!   
So far, it appears residents are doing well properly separating recyclables from trash.  While we don't have any firm numbers for contamination, the supervisor at the recycling facility at Waste Pro shared that the loads are coming in cleaner with less contamination than the old bin system.
For residents who inadvertently place a non-recyclable item in their cart (e.g.:  plastic bags, Styrofoam, garden hose), crews are placing  an "oops" tag on the cart, which explains why the cart is contaminated.  This system has helped significantly with education, and crews have seen great improvement over the past month.
As a reminder, please make sure you lightly rinse and place dry items in your cart.  A list showing what is and isn't recyclable is stamped on the cart lid and also available on the Solid Waste webpage
Thanks to everyone for your recycling efforts and helping to make Sarasota an even more sustainable community.       
Transportation Master Plan - Sarasota in Motion   The Planning Department kicked off our first-ever citywide transportation master plan, called Sarasota in Motion, which will help guide how we move around Sarasota for the next generation or more.
To launch the master plan, our transportation planners met with representatives from regional stakeholder agencies across the spectrum, from the Florida Department of Transportation to Sarasota County Area Transit to the Metropolitan Planning Organization to regional government organizations, and we were very pleased with the regional  consensus that Sarasota needs a transportation master plan to help achieve our long-term quality mobility needs, which are so important to a high quality of life.

With Sarasota in Motion underway, residents and visitors are invited to attend either of two workshops on Tuesday, June 4:

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.:  Bayfront Community Center, 803 N. Tamiami Trail
  • 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.:  Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 John Rivers St.

During these public visioning workshops, discussions will be led regarding improving the reliability of travel time to work, expanding travel options for walking, biking and transit, and planning for emerging trends and future technology such as autonomous vehicles.


Now through June, you're invited to complete an online survey about how you use the transportation system and your priorities.  The survey is open to everyone and available at 


The transportation planning team will be working on the initial visioning, inventory and priorities phase of the master plan throughout the summer.  The next phase, starting this fall, will be to analyze possible alternatives, which ultimately could be wrapped into the City's plan for capital improvement projects.


This is a significant endeavor to help shape Sarasota into an even more livable city, and we look forward to thoughtful input and discussion from the community.  

Gateway Signs    Signs are going up around the edges of the city informing residents and visitors they're entering the Sarasota city limits.  A total of 16 attractive signs will be installed:  two monument signs and 14 smaller, single-post signs.
In addition to the new, colorful monument sign located on University Parkway, a second similar one will be installed, possibly near New College along U.S. 41.  Staff is coordinating with the Florida Department of Transportation on the necessary permitting to allow the additional signs within their right of way. 
Eight single-post signs, compatible with the surrounding area, already have been installed on Myrtle Ave., 17th St., and Dr. MLK Jr. Way.  Six more will be installed as the City receives approval from FDOT.
A new gateway sign on Myrtle Ave.  
Thank you to project manager Bill Nichols in the Public Works Department for tirelessly shepherding this program through an extensive approval process.  We appreciate the opportunity to welcome people into our special city and delineate Sarasota's boundaries and sense of place.   
Hurricane Preparedness Week   All this week we've been sharing helpful tips on social media as part of Hurricane Preparedness Week.    
The official start of hurricane season is June 1 -- just a few weeks away -- and now is the time to make sure you have a plan in place for you and your family.
A key aspect to being prepared is determining whether you live in an evacuation zone or if your home would be vulnerable during a hurricane. Then, plan where you would go and how you would get there.  You may not have to travel far.  You may have a relative or friend who isn't in an evacuation zone and you could make arrangements for their home to be your evacuation destination.  And, always include your pets in your plans.   
When assembling your disaster supply kit, make sure you have enough to get through the storm plus an extended recovery period.  It's recommended that you have enough non-perishable food, water and medication for each person for a minimum of one week.
Consider reaching out to your insurance agent now to check on your coverage.  You should have enough in place to repair or even replace your home.  Flooding coverage requires a separate policy, and keep in mind there's a 30-day waiting period for flood insurance.
Lastly, it's a good idea to have a written plan before you're in an emergency situation and may forget what you need to do to protect yourself, your family and property.
Throughout the year the City's Emergency Manager, Todd Kerkering, plans for the worst and hopes for the best for our community.  We appreciate Todd's dedication and attention to detail with government regulations, which help put our city in the best position possible should we face a serious storm threat.  

Van Wezel:  New Season
Subscriptions on Sale Now! 

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
Friday Fest - Big Night Out 
Fri., June 21 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Rebel Heart 
Fri., July 19 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Reverend Barry and the Funk 
Fri., August 16 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Ari and the Alibis 
Fri., September 20 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
To purchase tickets over the phone call 941-953-3368 or stop by the Box Office at 777 N.Tamiami Trail.   
For a complete schedule of events, visit

Thanks for reading this week's edition.  If you'd like to receive Weekly Briefs directly to your inbox, click 'Join Our Mailing List ' below or send us an email at CityNews@SarasotaFL.Gov 

Tom Barwin
City Manager